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Archive for September 9th, 2011

Piracy is killing a well-paying talent, warns Loise Kim

Posted by Administrator on September 9, 2011

She drives a Range Rover and is building a mansion on Thika Road only five years after entering the gospel music industry.
“I cannot deny that performing artistes make good money in this country,” Loise Kim, known for her songs Munjiari (Kikuyu for parent) and Taranda (talent) says.

Top artistes, she told the Business Daily this week, make up to Sh100,000 performing for a couple of hours.

Kim, born Loise Njeri Githuku, is upbeat and reveals how she identified her talent in gospel music.

At 38, she has tried a number of businesses, including the hitherto chaotic matatu sector.

She has a brief but sad report about the business: you don’t go to bed happy, your crew steals from you and police harass you.
She left it in 2005.

A year later, Kim  identified her singing talent:  “At our chama  (an informal buiness grouping) we decided in 2006 to compose songs for every meeting.”

Her first song, Munjiari, was an instant success.

“You composed a song at your event. Our group used to visit the parents and that is how my first song was called Munjiari (Kikuyu for parent) came to be. The tune was so successful that when I sang it to fellow women, they all cried.”

Kim operates on a tight schedule since her diary is fully booked for performances that include business tours by firms promoting products.

Last week, Kim, who sings in Kikuyu language, was with Equity Bank and Royal Media Services on a tour across the country to promote their products.

“Such tours are the main sources of making money for artistes in this country.” However, against the background of success and considerable fame, she enumerates hidden costs that walk in tandem with her as a parent and a late-night artiste.

“I really regret being unable to be there for my children a lot more,” says Kim, adding that her marriage broke up.

About performing at night events, she volunteers: “Some of my engagements have turned me into an owl of sorts and when most Kenyans have retired to bed, I am most likely driving alone in the dead of the night from one function to the other.”

Advances from men, seeking to cash in on her fame, have also been a challenge, especially those who contract her to perform.

Having tried her hands on so many things before settling on singing, her source of strength is the passion that keeps her going.

“Music is easily the best thing I have ever done.” It was an escape from the life of struggles, she says, her face lighting up with satisfaction.
Another ogre facing the entire performing industry, is piracy whose merchants, she says, have mastered the art of survival, confusing even the musicians themselves.

Kim says piracy is killing music industry in Kenya and is denying hard-working musicians their deserved decent living.

“These days, pirates will have their albums out competing with the originals in only 24 hours,” she says. They are having a field day in spite of surveillance by the Music Copyright Society of Kenya, the industry monitor.

“My latest album Nissi has been such a great success with playtime and public appreciation so widespread but I have received very little financial benefit.”

The musician made up to Sh80,000 a week from Munjiari album in the first couple of weeks or so before pirates caught up with her.
Pirates rob both the artistes and the consumer who is served poor quality music camouflaged in cheaper prices.

While an original CD costs Sh250 at accredited shops, pirates are selling low quality copy at between Sh50 and Sh60.

Kim has bagged a number of awards including the Mwafaka Artist of the Year award; she is now gunning for next month’s Kigooco Senior Artist of the Year Award and the Video of the Year award for her the song Nissi.

Quality work is the hallmark of success in the music industry, she tells budding musicians.

Never too old

A good work must appeal to the consumer when energy and flavour are synchronised to “excite the market.”

“Fixation with money and fortune is root cause of failure.”

In an industry that is littered with one-hit-song artistes, Kim says thinking about money before creating a worthy  product “is akin to putting the cart before the horse.”

South African anti-apartheid hero Miriam Makeba is her role model and a testimony that “you never grow too old to sing.”
Kim dreams of growth, but has ruled out combining singing with music production.

“It will  distract me from what I do well— singing.”

She asks budding singers to choose studios well and not be motivated by the cost while compromising quality.

“The studio could be the difference between a good song and a great song, a critical difference in music.”

Source: http://www.businessdailyafrica.com/Piracy+is+killing+a+well+paying+talent++warns+singer+/-/539444/1232614/-/q7fu48z/-/index.html

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Number of Kenyans abroad soars to 3 million

Posted by Administrator on September 9, 2011

From a few thousands scattered across the globe but mainly in North America and the United Kingdom, the number of Kenyans in the diaspora has exponentially grown in the last two decades to today’s three million, about nine per cent of the country’s population.

But the importance of this community is not only in the numbers but they have come to wield so much economic power that their remittances have hit the Sh160 billion mark annually, according to a World Bank report: Future of Africa Remittances Program released in October last year, earning them the distinction of being ranked the country’s fourth highest foreign exchange earner after tea, horticulture and tourism.

Kenyans living abroad mainly send money home to help their families and for investment in various sectors, including real estate.

In July alone, remittances to Kenya jumped by 44 per cent from the same month a year ago to $72.8 million (about Sh6.9 billion).

Recognising this economic muscle, the government has set its eyes on the fast rising proceeds from the diaspora as it sought to maximise returns from its newly floated Sh20 billion infrastructure bond.

In the new global trend, bonds are said to tap into this new economic frontier beyond the usual handouts — sending money home to pay for school fees and taking care of medical expenses (remittances) — and playing an active part in investing in one’s homeland, funding development of bridges, schools and other enterprises.

Analysts believe that because people in the diaspora have more ties to the land and more access to information, they will be better able to invest in and contribute sustainably to development efforts.

Israel and India have been reported to have profited tremendously from such bond schemes.

The Central Bank said proceeds from the bond would go towards partial funding of specific infrastructure projects in a raft of sectors including roads (Sh7.36 billion), energy (Sh18.78 billion) and water (Sh9.71 billion).

It said Kenyans in the diaspora would be allowed to take part in tap sales of the bond after the auction date next month.

“The bond may be available for tap sales to retail local and Kenyan diaspora investors after the auction and offer amounts will be re-priced at the successful weighted average rate of the main auction adjusted for the remaining time to maturity.

The tap sale period will close on February 3, 2012,” the bank said in a statement.

On the political scene, Kenyans abroad pushed for the inclusion of dual citizenship in the new Constitution as well as being allowed to take part in elections, a move which will transform the political environment of the country.

Now for the first time in Kenya’s history, citizens living abroad are set to vote in the elections next year, a move that has been made possible by a transformational constitution  endorsed by Kenyans in August last year.

The new law will also allow Kenyans, including those holding dual citizenship, to seek elective positions.

Section 38 (3) of the Bill of Rights grants every adult citizen the right to vote and Article 82 (1) (e) allows for progressive registration of citizens abroad and progressive realisation of the right.

Kenyans in the diaspora had in the past complained that they were disenfranchised when it came to having a say in national issues and elections owing to their inability to vote.

These reservations constantly surfaced whenever government delegations meet them in their countries of abode.

Interim Independent Electoral Commission chief executive James Oswago told the Saturday Nation that the issue was emotive and the government was exploring various models in preparations to fulfil the constitutional provision.

He said the biggest challenge was that there were no registers of Kenyans abroad in the embassies and that the exact numbers and location were unknown.

“We have asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to help us in mapping out the various countries and areas where Kenyans abroad are concentrated. We are also posting questionnaires on our website to gather this information,” he said.

He recently visited the UK to learn their system while some of his officers are studying the South African and Australian models.

Mr Oswago said there was need to ensure that the system to be adopted was efficient and cost-effective.

He said the cost would be enormous but having Kenyans vote in embassies and state properties would reduce it to about Sh1 billion.

A source at the commission downplayed the number of Kenyans abroad who will participate in next year’s election, saying the “logistics were imponderable.”

“I know for example that the number of Kenyans in South Sudan alone can be 100,000. But because of the poor infrastructure, it would be difficult to reach any significant number,” said the source.

Source: http://www.nation.co.ke/News/Number+of+Kenyans+abroad+soars+to+3+million/-/1056/1233470/-/f1cxmx/-/index.html

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Nyambane’s Tour of the US – September 2011

Posted by Administrator on September 9, 2011

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Obama’s uncle quietly released from jail

Posted by Administrator on September 9, 2011

Onyango Obama

Onyango Obama

Officials  released President Obama’s uncle from Plymouth County jail yesterday after holding him for more than two weeks on an immigration detainer for violating an order to return to his native Kenya in 1992.

US officials refused to disclose any other information about Onyango Obama, who remained  in the United States undetected until Framingham police arrested him Aug. 24 on drunken driving and other charges.

Yesterday, federal immigration officials refused to say whether the 67-year-old Framingham resident posted bond,  whether they are keeping track of his whereabouts, or even  whether they are still seeking his deportation, raising questions about public accountability in the case.

The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement website confirmed Obama’s release by listing him as “not in custody.’’

Although the website confirmed it, Brian P. Hale, an agency spokesman, said he would not comment on the case because privacy laws and the agency’s policies prohibit it. He said the database is accurate, however.

As a result of the immigration agency’s refusal to discuss the case, it is unclear what happened to Obama after he left the Plymouth County House of Correction – or whether he could be returned to jail.

An official at the Plymouth County House of Correction who would not give his name said yesterday afternoon that Obama was no longer in custody. He had been taken to Burlington, where US Immigration and Customs Enforcement has  offices, he said.

In Framingham, the people who shared a modest frame house with Obama on a residential street said they did not know where he was. A co-worker at Conti Liquors, where Obama worked, said they had not heard of his release.

His Cleveland lawyers, Margaret Wong and Scott Bratton, were unavailable for comment, and an assistant said they had not been notified that he was released.

Onyango Obama was the half-brother of the president’s late father. At the time of his arrest, Obama allegedly told Framingham police, “I think I will call the White House’’ to arrange bail.

But last week the White House press secretary, Jay Carney, said the president did not expect his uncle to receive special treatment.

Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies, which favors tougher limits on immigration, said the immigration agency should be more transparent, especially in a case involving a relative of the president. She said the public deserves to know the circumstances of Obama’s release, since he violated a deportation order and is accused of drunken driving. In a criminal court, she said, that would be public information.

Obama pleaded not guilty in Framingham District Court to charges of drunken driving, negligent operation, and failing to yield.

“This whole nonsense about privacy is a policy,’’ Vaughan said. “It’s not the law. It’s a choice that [the immigration agency] is making. I think it’s very cowardly on [the agency’s] part, to be honest. Their behavior shows that they don’t want to be accountable to anybody.’’

Obama is the second relative from the president’s distant paternal side to have violated immigration law. Onyango Obama’s younger sister, Zeituni Onyango, violated a deportation order and lived quietly in Boston public housing until days before her nephew’s historic election in 2008, when her illegal status was leaked to the media. Based in part on the leak, and her increased exposure, a Boston immigration judge granted her asylum last year.

Onyango Obama came to America in 1963 to attend a prestigious preparatory school in Cambridge but dropped out and was initially ordered to leave the country in 1989. He appealed to the Board of Immigration Appeals, but lost in 1992.

Earlier this month,  Bratton said Obama would fight deportation and hoped to remain in the United States. Obama has lived here for almost 50 years, since he was a young man under the limited supervision of the president’s late father.

Obama had worked for the past five years at Conti Liquors in Framingham, where he was praised as a good worker and beloved employee.

Source: http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2011/09/09/obamas_uncle_quietly_released_from_jail/?p1=Local_Links

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342 children die at birth in Pumwani

Posted by Administrator on September 9, 2011

A total of 342 children have died at birth at the Pumwani Maternity Hospital in the last six months. This is an average of 57 neonatal deaths monthly, according to Deputy Prime Minister and Local Government Minister Musalia Mudavadi. Neonatal death is when a baby dies in the first hours or few days of life. While issuing a ministerial statement in Parliament, Musalia said since January 2011 to July, the facility had 11,221 new births and 342 deaths. He said in January, 1,600 new deliveries and 45 deaths were recorded. In February, there were 1,343 new deliveries and 43 deaths while in March 1,649 births and 46 deaths were recorded.

The minister said in April there were 1,452 new deliveries and 52 deaths while in May there were 1,767 new deliveries and 52 deaths. In June, the hospital recorded 1,777 new births and 48 deaths while in July 1,633 births and 51 deaths were recorded. He said at national level, neonatal mortality ratio is 31 per 1,000 live births as per Kenya Demographic and Health Survey of 2000-2009 while at Pumwani Maternity the ratio is 30 per 1,000 live births. “The hospital is performing much better than the perceptions tend to say,” Musalia said.

He described the Pumwani Maternity Hospital was the third busiest Maternity Hospital in Africa and the largest in the country and admitted that it was facing various challenges including shortage of staff and equipment. “Average of 50 – 60 babies are delivered each day with very limited equipment and under staffing of doctors and nurses,” said Musalia. He said it has 354 obstetric beds and 144 baby cots. He explained that the hospital has 9 medical doctors against an establishment of 25 doctors and 180 nurses against an establishment of 250 nurses.

Musalia further said the hospital has two theatres for caesarean cases instead of 4 theaters saying the deficiency was posing a big challenge to the staff and the hospital. He said he has already appointed a board to address the challenges and improve service delivery at the facility. He also said that recommendations of a taskforce which had been appointed in April by the Town Clerk had been implemented.

They included ensuring senior management possess managerial skills. Also recommended was that the human resource department to ensure independence of officers and avoid officers in same department reporting to difference heads. The task force also recommended that proper procurement procedures as enshrined in the Public Procurement and Disposal Act, 2005 be strictly adhered to.

Source: http://www.nairobistar.com/national/national/39499-342-children-have-died-at-birth-at-pumwani-since-january

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Relationships: Knowing what you want

Posted by Administrator on September 9, 2011

(THITU KARIBA) Earlier today, I saw a comment where a young lady suggested that all men were monkeys and there are no real men left in the world and that women were dating monkeys. I had to laugh because I totally got what she was saying even though I disagreed.  There are times when you find a man who behaves more like a Neanderthal than anything else. It’s all about power, ego, control and dominion, especially where women are concerned. They love to show who is wearing the pants, who is boss and stick their horns out.  The thing I got to understand is that it cuts across into the church.  I cannot tell you the many times I see a Christian man  let the world know who the man of the house is, how when he gets home his wife must do this or that. Having an ego trip in front of God and all.

Personally, this is not my idea of the kind of man I would like to be in a relationship with. It would seem to make him feel more like a man, I would have to stay down very often.  I wonder what happens to a man after he marries.  Does he suddenly forget how to cook or make a bed or a cup of tea? When and where do they teach or lie to them that you are less of a man if you did any of the above?  Okay, yes, there are the traditions and customs that were taught to our men and that is well and good.  However, today things are different.  We don’t need hunters, we have supermarkets, women go to work, own houses and are even the bosses, should men not celebrate that instead of making sure that when she gets home you show her who the boss is?  What we need to look for are not traditional men but Christian men.

Christ loved the Church!  So much so, that he lay his life down for it.  Never once did I see Christ having a power trip,

or putting down the woman in his presence to make himself feel more like a king. He restored the woman’s power to her, he called her daughter, he talked to her when no one else would, he saved her life and let everyone know that they were sinners just like her. Where is that man who lives to be like Christ?  King of Kings, a Lord yet never once waking up to the woman when he got in and reminding her he was the head and just to prove it, ordering her around  to make tea and  cook this or that and moreover telling everyone how when he roars she jumps. What is that all about?  If you watch the animal planet or national geographic, you get to see just what I mean, but it’s just sad when man, the superior, has to result to the same.

As women it is important to know what we want in a man, list it down and take it before God. Ask for a man who does not mind cooking once in a while or being considerate enough to wash the dishes when you are away on business.  Better yet, one who will not mind making himself a cup of tea and not have to wake you up to do it.  Even better, one who is willing to make you one while he is at it.  I know that the world would have you believe that you need to settle for this idea that the world has said a man is.  It’s not true.  God told me himself that he wants a man to treat his daughter the way he does and did through Christ. Christ went against protocol and the rules and laws man had put up to love the woman. Christ was a real man.

Ladies, disregard all you were told a man is and look at the example of the man Christ is and ask yourself what kind of man you like.  Know what you want in a man; if you do not know what, then how can you pick one? How can you know whether to say yes or No when he asks?  How then can you know which is the man and which is the monkey in your eyes? Do not get me wrong, some women like the roaring lion.  Some are very okay with the laws and traditions and customs set up by our forefathers and there is nothing wrong with that. They got just what they wanted.  What is wrong is when a woman settles for a man she does not want and then calls him an animal and claims there are no real men left in the world. Have you looked? Do you know what a real man is? Do you have any idea what you want?  If you did, you would not be dating anything less than the best for you, anything less than your real man.  Many times we like to blame the men, but you see they are just being who they were raised to be.   If you do not like or want a man raised a certain way figure out what kind of man you do want and like and when he comes around, pick him.

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Kenyan Model in the DC, Maryland, Virginia Area, Mpenzi, Does It All For Love

Posted by Administrator on September 9, 2011

Photo: Studio 1 NYC | Makeup: Danessa Myricks |

Photo: Studio 1 NYC | Makeup: Danessa Myricks |

Endless worries of what could have been, clouds the minds of many, but one can take the steps to successfully prepare themselves for anything that comes along”, says Mpenzi.

It has been a zealous journey for super model Elizabeth Mpenzi. A native of Kenya, her passion for modeling coupled with resilience has carried her thus far. There have been many road blocks along the way, but this was a sacrifice she has been more than willing to take. “I had to convince my family that this is what I wanted to be. It has been difficult, but every challenge makes you a better person,” she assures.

Mpenzi began to flirt with the idea of becoming a model since the age of nineteen but had never really taken it seriously until one day she woke up and it hit her! At that moment she decided that she was going to “do this” and has been actively modeling since 2008.  She has traveled to various fashion shows in cities throughout the United States including Chicago, Las Vegas, Atlanta, and Los Angeles for editorial work. Mpenzi currently lives with her family in Baltimore, Maryland where she splits her time between traveling to New York City for model calls.

Photo: Drexina Nelson |

Photo: Drexina Nelson |

Most of Mpenzi’s knowledge has been acquired from networking with various photographers, makeup artists, and hairdressers. Enthusiastic about her future, this African beauty has embraced versatility and demonstrates no fear. “I love trying many different aspects of modeling. It’s an obsession,” she says proudly. “I thrive in competing, as there is an energy and fire. It’s through competition that we learn-I enjoy what I do!”

Finding the right agency and representation requires a lot of work and is often very challenging. However, Mpenzi has a growing portfolio that consists of commercials, editorials, high fashion and runway work, highlighting the diligence of her dedication. She has been published in various magazines: People’s Magazine, Hype Hair, and Ultimate Weaves & Hair. She has also been the face of hair companies like Bronner Bros (Feb 2009- Aug 2009), Outré (Aug 2009) as well as product companies like Porselene Facial care 2008 and U (ooh) Skin products.?

With her sight set on her goal and desire to take her talent to the next level, Mpenzi will stop at nothing until she reaches the very top. “My goal is to become a mega-super model. I will not take anything less than that. I want to do this for life,” she says. “I want to be known internationally and build my name, so coming back here will be easy to get work.”

Beyond her pretty face and the burning desire to strive to be the best at what she does, resides compassion to give back to a place where she proudly calls home.“God gave everyone an inner and outer beauty. God gave me this beauty and I want to give it back. I want to help kids in Africa, and be an ambassador for them-I love to help!” She explains of her goal to build orphanages around Africa, giving children hope to live, and a future in which their dreams can come to life.

“I believe every day is an opportunity to raise your life to a higher level by giving the best that you have. Whatever it is you desire, think it, be it, support it and you will enjoy it in great abundance.” –Elizabeth Mpenzi

SOURCE: http://shymagazine.com/shy/dmvs-top-model-mpenzi-does-it-all-for-love.html

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Kenyan doctors perform first distant surgery

Posted by Administrator on September 9, 2011

Surgeons from Aga khan University hospital today performed surgery using the video conferencing surgery (VCS) technology. This is the first time tele-surgery is conducted in Kenya on a patient. The procedure is being conducted with guidance from specialists sitting in India.

VCS uses computerized interface to transmit the surgeon’s actions at a surgical workstation, to the operative site at the remote surgical unit. It uses a haptic (forced feedback) input to transmit to the surgeon the tactile environment of the operative field.

This technology will cut down the travel cost for patients who have had to travel abroad for specialized treatment. High definition video conferencing will ensure that medical professionals can service patients remotely after surgery, obtain continuing medical education, and run the day-to-day business of hospitals without any loss of quality or care.”Technology has not only simplified our lives but also presented us with a unique chance to share knowledge and grow each other’s individual and collective capacity in our service to humanity,” says Dr Saeed Samnakay, a Urology surgeon.

Access Kenya, Asterisk and Sight & Sound will be providing the broadband services and equipment that will allow high definition content sharing and patient monitoring. VCS technology creates a sense of reality for both patients and doctors.

“Our fiber optic transmission is an enabler to this critical service of telemedicine, the company will provide a dedicated 15Mbps connection speed to this service”, says Chris Senanu, Managing Director Access Kenya.Riding on Access Kenya’s back, Asterisk ltd have assisted and trained doctors in tele-surgery for a while, “This session will showcase live camera transmission inside the human body,” says Dipen Rajani, the Director Asterisk ltd.

Source: http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/news/network-wifi/3302308/kenyan-doctors-perform-first-distant-surgery/

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